For this nomadic power couple, entrepreneurship is their North Star. They write, they teach, they design, they photograph, they retail…it’s actually shorter to list what they don’t do. The only thing more impressive than their professional resume is their 12-year marriage. Keep reading for a very small peek into the volumes of nomadic experience represented by the formidable Neil Brown + Jen Baker Brown.
Give us the deets on your nomadic lifestyle.
As our nomadism has evolved over the years, defining ‘home’ has matured as well. It is not a fixed geography nor mailing address, rather home is wherever we are together. At times, this is a fluid concept. For the last nine years, our primary residence has been New York City: an apartment, mail, license plates, etc. For the last year, we’ve been living between NYC and Atlanta.
This summer, we set off on a meandering journey around the U.S. meeting with thought leaders across a broad spectrum of domains — creatives, entrepreneurs, artisans, investors, universities, and more — to learn their vision for the future where the combination of work and life is the great adventure.
Along the way we’re researching, interviewing, drawing insights and writing a series of articles for a magazine and our website. We covered over 16,500+ miles in five months (June – November) criss-crossing across the country, and met with many amazing people along the way.
What’s the most common response you get when people learn that you are nomads?
“What? Wait, how? What do you do? Wait, so…what do you do again?” “Oh, I wish I had a job where I could do that.”
What is one tool you can’t live without?
Laptops with Wifi. And coffee.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve gotten through?
In many cases, challenging circumstances are also some of our fondest memories. Getting lost and separated from our friends while driving a motorbike in crazy traffic in Ho Chi Minh City during rush house was exceptionally difficult, but still exhilarating. Rappelling for our first time ever off one of the world’s largest land bridges in Utah quickly surfaced immediate vertigo but we loved it. And can’t wait to do it again!
For us, balancing our ambition with the constant state of not knowing what next week will bring proves an ever-present difficulty. Yet the nomad life presents opportunity in ways never offered to the static dweller. So, we push forward–one mile and one day and one week at a time.
Tell us a story about something unexpected nomadic life brought you.
Recently, while in Laguna Beach, I posted a photo to Instagram. Later that evening, a friend from New York texted to ask how long we’d be in the area. My response was “How long do I need to be?” He connected us with a friend, Dan, from the area that he met while living in Africa many years ago.
We joined Dan and his wife at their home for dinner to enjoy stunning Pacific views. As the sun set, Dan made a decision that we needed to meet a local artist, Jerome Gastaldi. This was Thursday. We were planning to leave California Friday. However, Jerome was not able to connect until Monday, so we shifted our departure.
Monday arrived. We set off to meet Jerome for lunch at his retreat–four acres nestled in the hills with a beautiful home, three cottages, gallery, painting studio, Airstream trailer, and stone chapel, manicured as if it were an Italian estate. We stayed until sunset.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time with Jerome and Dan, and now consider them friends. Jerome has even offered to host us in the future, when we return to sunny Southern California on our next journey.
Share your secret spot.
- Partington Cove (Big Sur, Ca.): It’s a short hike down to the cove, but it is not heavily visited. When we were there we only saw one other group of three people. The view is stunning, and there’s room to relax on the rocks soaking up the sun and salty spray.
- Cowboys & Indians Antiques (Albuquerque, Nm.): A spectacular vintage consignment shop on Cleveland Avenue. The antique turquoise and silver jewelry can keep you busy for hours.
- Morning Glory Arch (Moab, Ut.): The sixth largest land bridge in the world in the extraterrestrial landscape that surrounds Moab. Be sure to take a rappelling and canyoneering tour with Moab Cliffs & Canyons.
Most important tip for nomadic life, in 7 words or less:
Surrender to the journey!
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